About This Place
Ripley is a village in Brown County, Ohio, United States, along the Ohio River 50 miles southeast of Cincinnati. The population was 1,745 at the 2000 census.
Colonel James Poage, a veteran of the American Revolution, arrived in the free state of Ohio from Staunton, Virginia in 1804 to claim the 1000 acres (4 km²) he had been granted in what was then the Virginia Military District. Poage was among a large group of veterans who received land grants beyond the Ohio for their service and freed their slaves when they settled there. Poage and his family laid out the town of Staunton in 1812; it was renamed in 1816 to honor General Eleazar Wheelock Ripley, an American officer of the War of 1812, .
The proximity of the river and of the slave state of Kentucky on the opposite shore led to Ripley's role as an early stop on the Underground Railroad, a network of citizens helping slaves escape north to freedom. A number of prominent abolitionists lived in the town in the 1800s, mainly on Front Street near the river, including John Rankin, former slave John Parker, Thomas McCague, Thomas Collins and Dr. Alexander Campbell.